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Monday, November 5, 2012

How accountants see the world

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In response to my article "The Die Was Cast", a kind soul who remembered me from my short residency at the PWD Mess in Rabaul in New Guinea emailed and gave me the contact details of two former accounting colleagues.

What a blast from the past! I wasted no time in telephoning them but, as it turned out, I should have wasted no time: the first one answered the phone by saying, "Can you phone back? I'm on an important call with the Tax Office." Only on my second call did I realise that this is accountant-speak for 'Eff off". The other one was even less responsive.

It dawned on me then that, unlike the life-changing impact it had on me, New Guinea for them had been little more than a brief diversion from their deeply trodden path. While an accounting qualification has been my passport to the world, they had merely done time in New Guinea before they returned to their well-ordered suburban lives to never dream another dream.